Pearland man’s son helping people flee war-stricken Ukraine

More than two million people have fled Ukraine.

A Pearland man born in Germany and raised in Ukraine reached out to KPRC 2 to tell us how his son, Valentyn Odnoviun, a Ukrainian man now living in Lithuania, is helping people flee Ukraine in Poland.

“We are all pretty stressed,” said Odnoviun, who provided us with heartbreaking videos of widespread destruction in Kharkiv and Vinnytsia.

“They are freezing there, but it’s better to sit in basement than go out,” Odnoviun said. Like his mother, he has been forced to live underground. “My mother sitting in a basement and hiding from bombing.”

His mother and other family members are among the lucky ones to make it out alive. Forced to cross the border in different cities, all have made it to safety. Odnoviun met his aunt, cousin and niece at a train station in Warsaw, Poland. Odnoviun’s brother picked up their mother in another city.

Odnoviun sent us a photo of the inside of an evacuation train. It shows children and adults sleeping on top of one another in the corridor.

He also showed us a photo a 7-year-old girl drew, illustrating her journey aboard an evacuation train. Odnoviun said he helped the child and her family. One day when he was playing with the child, he said she asked him, “Do you know there is a war?”

A photo shows the thousands of people on the platform at Kharkiv Central Train Station. Thousands of people stand shoulder to shoulder, hoping they are next to make it out of Ukraine.

Since our interview with Odnoviun, we’ve seen more heartbreak, including the Children’s hospital that was destroyed.

The war is entering its third week.

Ukrainian President Zekenskyy says some 35,000 people were able to escape on Wednesday.

About the Author: